BROOKLYN PARK — Tim Middagh earned first place Press Photographer's Portfolio, and The Globe received multiple awards Thursday night at the 2018-2019 Better Newspaper Contest awards banquet during the Minnesota Newspaper Association's annual convention.
Also recognized from The Globe with first-place awards were Jessica Pass and Roberta Fultz (Best Advertisement), Alyssa Sobotka (Local Breaking News Coverage) and Middagh and Doug Wolter (Best Use of Video).
"The Globe employees work hard each and every day to produce quality products.," said Joni Harms, publisher of The Globe. "It’s an honor to be recognized among their peers."
Middagh's individual win in the Press Photographer's Portfolio recognized his work as the best among all non-daily newspaper entrants.
"Solid portfolio of thoughtfully selected images," noted the judge's comments, which appeared alongside several of Middagh's images on the back cover of the MNA book listing the award winners. "It's hard to pick a favorite since the selection of photos cover so many different types of assignments. Truly a top-notch portfolio. Great work documenting your community."
Pass and Fultz — along with all other award winners from The Globe — were recognized in the Non-Dailies 3,001-7,000 circulation division. Their advertisement, "City of Worthington Sales Tax," earned the honor.
"Great use of white space and design; really gets the message out and allows that to be the focus of the ad," the judge wrote.
Sobotka, meanwhile, captured first place for her on-the-spot reporting of the fire that claimed the Ellsworth City Hall in January 2019.
"This story captured not only a great breaking news story, but the fact that it was a local historic town hall makes it that much more newsworthy," the judge wrote. "It's not just a random house fire or some other police call. It's the loss of an historic structure. And your coverage included the progression throughout the day, from the morning battle to the afternoon demo — all in time for the next day's edition. And that sidebar with residents' reactions pushed you to the top. Great job, phenomenal coverage!"
Middagh and Wolter earned first place in Best Use of Video for their profile of rock-climbing instructor Jeremiah LeTorneau for The Globe's weekly sports video feature, "The Drill." The two also teamed up to earn second place in the same category for an episode of "The Drill" featuring Jackson amateur baseball player Andy Wolf.
Additionally, The Globe received second-place honors in the Design Portfolio category, recognizing the work of Forum Communications Co. employees Amy Martz, Jennifer Thiel and Dave Nevanen in designing the newspaper's pages.
Buntjer earned third place in the Social Issues Story category for her report, "Rural landowners air opposition to industrial wind farms."
"A clear and well-written examination of how the drive for wind energy has impacted real people in Minnesota," the judge wrote. "Telling the homeowners' stories was central to the piece, seeing how the windmills had disrupted their rural lives and affected property values. Good work."
Buntjer, Ryan McGaughey and Middagh received third place in Local Breaking News Coverage for their reporting on the fire and explosion at the New Vision Cooperative Elevator in Brewster.
"Great on-scene coverage here, with deadline looming for the following day's edition," the judge wrote.
Middagh was awarded third place in News Photo for his shot titled "Fixing Power Lines," taken following the April 2019 ice storm.
"The photo looks and feels cold and dark; tells the story of the day," the judge commented.
Fultz and Susan Middagh combined to take home a third-place award in Best Use of Social Media (this award among all non-dailies) for their "LIKE My Summer Photo" promotion. Wrote the judge: "This photo contest helped bolster both the newspaper's brand as well as their social media numbers."
Finally, Fultz took home third place in the Self-Promotion or House Ad category for "Newsletter Promotion — Mayor of Worthington."
"Love that the local mayor is promoting the paper and love seeing great customer testimonials," the judge commented. "Great layout and design."